Two University of Hawaii women’s volleyball players were recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Wednesday.
But the selections don’t sit right with head coach Dave Shoji.
“I’m really disappointed in the committee that didn’t include Nikki on the First Team,” he told KHON2. “Her numbers are just phenomenal and sometimes they look at your competition, but every good team we played, she had great numbers, and it’s just incredible to me that she’s not First Team All-American.”
“I think just to get an award like that is a huge honor, but I definitely think it wasn’t really what I was expecting, so now I have something to work for,” Taylor said.View the full list of 2015 AVCA All-Americans here.
Reigning Big West Player of the Year, Taylor, led the league in three statistical categories with career-highs in points (5.48 p/set), kills (4.46 p/set) and service aces (0.42 p/set). The junior from Honolulu, Hawai’i and Kaiser High School was ranked amongst the nation’s elite all year and currently is ranked No. 5 in the NCAA in points per set; 16th in kills per set, 20th in points (575.5); 38th in service aces (44); and 45th in total kills (468). The 6-4 opposite tied the UH record earning conference Player of the Week five times this season-including three-straight to begin the year. Angelica Ljungquist (1996-WAC) and Kanani Danielson (2009-WAC) are the only other two Rainbow Wahine to ever accomplish that feat. Taylor also received AVCA/Sports Imports and ESPNW National Player of the Week awards the week of September 14 following an impressive performance at the Outrigger Resort Volleyball Challenge that included a career-best 27-kill performance against nationally-ranked Florida.
Magill, who received her third AVCA All-Region honor last week, led the Big West on offense and defense with a .412 hitting percentage and 1.44 blocks per set average. The senior middle hitter from Shoreline, Wash., is ranked 15th in the NCAA in blocks per set and No. 16 in the nation in hitting percentage. She also led the conference in total blocks (153), solo blocks (18) and block assists (135)–which were all career-highs. The two-time All-Big West first teamer collected Big West Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 12, after tying her season high with 11 blocks, including a career-high three solo that helped lift UH over Long Beach State while holding the 49ers to .097 hitting for the contest.
Magill and Taylor helped to lead the Rainbow Wahine to an impressive 29-2 overall record and an unblemished 16-0 in the Big West play to capture the conference title. In the postseason, Hawai’i became the first Big West team to advance to the NCAA’s Elite Eight since Long Beach State 2001. UH swept two-time defending National Champions Penn State in the Sweet 16 at the Des Moines Regional before having their 24-match win-streak snapped by No. 4 and No. 2-seed Minnesota in the Regional Final in four sets. It was the first time UH has advanced to the Elite Eight since 2009 when the ‘Bows advanced to the NCAA Championships in Tampa, Fl.
Magill and Taylor represent just the 28th and 29th individual Hawai’i players to earn AVCA All-America honors. The Rainbow Wahine have had 56 AVCA All-America awards since 1981. Magill and Taylor were the only players from the Big West to earn All-America honors.
The awards will be presented Dec. 18, 2015, in Omaha, Neb. at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet. The event is held in conjunction with the 2015 AVCA Convention.
Each of the three AVCA All-America Teams is comprised of 14 athletes. This marks the first year all players representing the Honorable Mention All-Americans were selected by the selection committee (previously, players who made All-Region were automatically honorable mention if they didn’t make one of the three teams). The Division I AVCA National Player of the Year will be announced on Dec. 18 at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet.